Chainmail is Back—Here are All the Dazzling Pieces We're Eyeing

Chainmail is no longer just for Y2K party girls.

Green chainmail skirt and top

Poster Girl

From face-framing braids, low-rise jeans, overalls, and butterfly clips, the early aughts have supplied an endless amount of trends, both past and present. Next up: Chainmail. First seen on '90s supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss with their coordinated silver Versace mesh mini dresses, then Paris Hilton in a shimmery chain mail dress on her 21st birthday in 2002, followed by Kendal Jenner, who paid tribute to Hilton's dress for her own birthday a decade later. Then you have Zendaya’s custom Versace chainmail gown at the 2018 Met Gala, serving an even bigger throwback to the 15h century. And we'd be remiss not to mention Zoë Kravtiz and Gemma Chan at the 2021 Met Gala, or Simone Biles at her 25th birthday this year. In short, chainmail is really having a moment.

But what was once something only seen on supermodels and high-profile celebrities is now becoming a fixture of everyday dressing. No longer do you have to buy a Julien Macdonald dress or ask a favor from your designer friends to get your dream sparkling look.

Chainmail, the hard metal mesh (or metal-like material) got an update on the spring and pre-fall 2022 runways. Going beyond the classic mini dress, we now have crop tops, skirt sets, plenty of jewelry, and handbags. The versatility is what attracts today's A-listers and fans alike who pair chainmail blouses with high-waisted jeans or bright pink pants. Suffice to say, there are plenty of ways to add the trend to your wardrobe. Scroll through the Byrdie edit of chainmail pieces to shop right now. 


Festival wear may come to mind when you think of chainmail tops. While, yes, the style is easily translated to a Coachella trip, there are plenty interpretations of the trend to incorporate for the times you're not living your best life in the desert, from bralettes to cottagecore details.

Skirt Set

Looking for a one-and-done outfit? We've got you. From classic gold to vibrant pink and an iridescent green, your summer wardrobe just got a lot more fun.

Mini Dress

A chainmail mini dress is a classic It-Girl party uniform. We're thinking back to Paris Hilton's slinky silver Julien Macdonald dress worn to her 21st birthday party back in 2002, a look that has gone on the be the center of many moodboards, even inspiring Kendall Jenner's own 21st birthday look. Whether of not your own 21st birthday has come and gone (or is still to come!), take a look at some equally head-turning dresses worthy of a celebration.


Not ready to dip your toes into a full chainmail moment? No problem. Brands including Kara, Cult Gaia, and Paco Rabanne have been incorporating the fabric into handbag designs for years. Jazz up your look by carrying some extra shine with you on your next night out.


An even more subtle way to try the trend is with jewelry. From super-subtle gold bracelets to statement-making earrings.

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